"חיים של שוטר הם לא משעממים."

Translation:The life of a policeman is not boring.

September 7, 2016

24 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tngraham

The English translation here is grammatically incorrect. The sentence in its current order is missing a definite article. It should be "The life of a policeman ..." Alternatively, changing the order, it could be "A policeman's life ..." Either way, though, an article is needed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

tngraham's post is from 2017.
The translation has since been corrected (2019-12-01).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GabeGewurt

December 2020: the English translation still shows only the definite article "The", still not "A".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aaron.Crowe

Not 'corrected'. Rather, given as an alternative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ztk123

Why is the of the phrase plural, but the answer not?

I answered "The lives of police officers aren't boring" but was wrong. Even if חיים isn't actually plural, the second half of the phrase is.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DmitryTure

z "חיים" is actually plural in Hebrew but translates to singular in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eli172111

I agree. הם makes the phrase plural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aaron.Crowe

This answer is valid; but not because of numbers or presence/absence of article. See my comment below for explanation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theresa754142

Khaim shel shoter hem lo mesha’amemim.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stan369045

Actually we need "the"in this sentence


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlmogL

In some cases, the use of the definite article is idiomatic in a language. In one language it would be considered redundant but in another it would be necessary. Would you say in English: "A life of a policeman"? I'm not a native speaker, but to me it sounds weird. In Hebrew you would say it. I've noticed other differences like that between Hebrew and English, and between English and German.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

In English we would use either of the two forms that tngraham mentioned.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aaron.Crowe

The 'definite article' is something of a misnomer with regard to abstract nouns (3rd order entities) as such, since they are essentially notional qualities that cannot be pointed to as tangible things.

English shows articular ambivalence with them in generalisations:

the life of a policeman = a life of a policeman = the lives of policemen = lives of policemen

The articles here are pointing to a quality rather than something definite or indefinite.

'The life of the policeman' is different, if we are referring to the life of one particular policeman.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aaron.Crowe

I live in the hope of discovering a language that has invented a 'qualitative article'.

Hebrew like Greek doesn't have an indefinite article, just 'the' article, so at least this allows it to be more open to interpretation. Many volumes have been written on the various categories the Greek article applies to, and the research is by no means exhaustive. Even so it is ambivalent with regard to qualitative entities, sometimes used and sometimes not; albeit with a profusion of scholarly debate on possible semantic nuances.

There's nothing definitive. But such precision is a lost cause. We only strive to be as comprehensive as possible.

Still, many languages manage without them: Latin, Russian, Chinese, and hundreds of others. And what they never had, they probably never miss.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Its-me.

Why is it not החיים? I thought you needed a ה before possessives?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Albur_Godwin

I guess this is because here, ‘a life of a policeman’ is semantically correct. I would like a second opinion too on this one.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matthew272727

Because the שוטר is indefinite

In biblical Hebrew its impossible to say "the life of a policeman" because words in construct cannot be have ה

So you have to say חיי שוטר Or חיי השוטר Id imagine the rule then in modern Hebrew is, whenever the possessed noun would be definite (by being in construct with a definite noun) you need ה+noun של ה+noun But whenever the word is in construct with an indefinite noun no ה is used.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aaron536616

why do we use "הם" for hayim? is 1 life isnt it??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matthew272727

חיים is a plural word (or more accurately it's has the dual ending)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aaron536616

why "a police life is not boring" is wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theresa754142

The word ‏שוטר means policeman, a person, but you changed the word to describe a type of profession, a kind of life.

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